By Diana Rodriguez
When someone has anxiety, depression, or another form of mental health condition, symptoms are usually present day in and day out for weeks, months, or years.
People with borderline personality disorder (BPD), however, may have strong emotional episodes that last only hours at a time, flaring up time and again. And this serious psychiatric disorder is one that requires serious treatment. Why? It can destroy relationships, careers, and even someone’s life if it’s not identified and brought under control.
One of the major symptoms of borderline personality disorder is having volatile and unstable relationships, even with close family and friends. People with borderline personality disorder can quickly swing from having intense respect and love for someone to suddenly becoming very angry and hating that loved one. Any separation or change in an expected schedule can trigger an extreme reaction and feelings of rejection in someone with borderline personality.
Situations that are obviously out of another person’s control or are truly insignificant can inflame the temper of a person with borderline personality disorder. One of the common borderline personality disorder symptoms is intense anger that is out of proportion to the given situation — for instance, if a parent or significant other has a work commitment that takes him away for a short time, someone with BPD may blow up in anger and hostility out of a sense of rejection and isolation.
Impulsive Spending and Other Risky Behaviors
Spending money carelessly and in excessive amounts is a risky and impulsive behavior that is characteristic of someone having an episode of borderline personality, but that’s not the only way people with BPD act out. Other destructive patterns seen with borderline personality disorder are unsafe sex, eating binges, gambling sprees, or risky driving. These are thought to be related to a poor self-image of the person with BPD.
Abusing Drugs or Alcohol
Substance abuse problems and alcohol dependency are other destructive behaviors often seen in people with borderline personality disorder. It’s common for those with borderline personality to turn to illicit drugs or to abusing alcohol during episodes of borderline personality to attempt to find escape or relief. All these issues must be treated in order to help better control borderline personality disorder symptoms.
Borderline personality disorder symptoms can be extremely intense, and people with BPD often have issues with body image and self-esteem. It’s not uncommon for people with BPD to try to hurt themselves in some way. Destructive behaviors could include causing physical harm, such as cutting themselves. They may have suicidal thoughts or actions; these require immediate medical attention.
Feeling Empty Inside
When someone he loves is physically gone — even just for a day or only a few hours — the sense of isolation felt by the person with borderline personality disorder often leads to an intense feeling of emptiness and the inability to cope with the absence. Borderline personality disorder symptoms may include a loss of self-worth, and a loved one’s being away — no matter how innocent the reason for it — can trigger feelings of being abandoned and emptiness.
Being Afraid of Being Alone
Lashing out in anger, a hallmark of BPD, often stems from one basic yet intense and overriding fear — the fear of being alone. People with borderline personality disorder often go into a panic or rage when they feel that they are being abandoned or are left alone, whether that abandonment is real or imagined. Being so afraid of being alone can cause serious problems in relationships.